The hidden sugar in these 'healthy' kids' snacks: Be informed

Healthy kids grow up to be healthy adults. That's the reason why parents strive to give their children healthy foods. One way that parents can do this is by monitoring the amount of sugar in toddler food that they give to their kids, by giving them healthier options. Most of the time, these "healthy" options include food such as dried fruit, yogurt, and fruit juices.

However, some "healthy" foods might not be as healthy as you think! Some of these contain a lot of sugar, which can be bad for your child's health when consumed in large quantities.

Here's a list of some of these foods:

Sugar in toddler food: How much sugar does your child consume?

1. Dried fruit

sugar in toddler food

At first glance, dried fruit might seem like a healthy alternative compared to treats such as candy or chocolates. However, a cup of dried fruit can contain as much as 21 teaspoons of sugar! This just shows how much sugar in toddler food there is.

However, dried fruit does contain a lot more vitamins compared to candies, so it's still okay to give to your child. Just make sure to not give them too much!

2. Yoghurt

sugar in toddler food

Kids love eating yoghurt. Not only does yoghurt taste delicious, but it also has a lot of probiotic bacteria that are good for their developing bodies.

But, a single serving of yoghurt with fruit can contain up to 6 teaspoons of sugar. If your child eats yogurt after every meal, then that amount can quickly add up!

As an alternative try giving your child some plain, unsweetend yogurt instead. It has all the delicious taste of yoghurt, minus the added sugar.

3. Fruit juices

sugar in toddler food

Eight ounces of apple or orange juice can contain up to 5.5 teaspoons of sugar per serving! Some other sweetened brands of fruit juice even contain as much sugar as there are in colas and other fizzy drinks.

An alternative would be to opt for unsweetened fruit juice, but those usually don't have the fiber that's present in fresh fruit juice.

The best way to provide a healthy beverage to your little one would be to give them fresh fruit juice instead. That way they can get the benefits of the minerals and vitamins, as well as fiber that's present in the juice.

Better yet, why not try giving them slices of fruit! Just make sure to give it in moderation as some fruits also have a lot of sugar.

4. Energy bars or Power bars

sugar in toddler food

A lot of mums and dads give energy bars or power bars to their kids as a healthy snack to help fuel their daily activities. But, did you know that one serving can contain up to 4 teaspoons of sugar?

While it's okay to give them to your child occasionally (and they're healthier than candy bars) it's not a good idea to make it a daily snack.

Instead, you can give your child healthy alternative such as slices of apple, pear, or even a banana. These fruits can have the same effect as these power bars, minus the added sugar.

5. Ketchup

sugar in toddler food

Yup, you read that right! Ketchup actually contains more sugar than you might think. One tablespoon of ketchup can contain up to one teaspoon of sugar.

And even if your little one doesn't eat a lot of ketchup all at once, imagine them having ketchup for every meal. It quickly adds up right?

A great alternative to ketchup would be to make some homemade salsa instead. It's healthier since you know exactly what goes in it, and it's also a good way to get your child to eat veggies!

Additional Tips For Parents

Mums and dads, the key to ensuring your little one grows up healthy and strong is sticking to balance in all things you offer them. When it comes to food, ensure you check the labels on food that indicate nutritional content, very carefully.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, here are some of the ingredients in popular snacks that are actually additives and hidden sugar:

Brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, raw sugar, and sucrose. 

Source: The Washington Times, Centers for Disease Control 

Photos: pixnio, pexels

READ: How much sugar is hiding in your kid’s favourite drink?

Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore